I understand. Honest, I do...you're afraid. You've heard the horror stories about the friend of a friend's sister that hired a "designer" who a) acted like a dictator b) didn't stay on budget and c) had no concept of a deadline.
But let me say in the defense of professional Interior Designers everywhere, that is not the norm. In defense of my ilk, here are the top 9 incredible benefits to working with one.
1. Interior Designers Can Save You From Expensive Mistakes
A quick Google search on the cost of a renovation in Calgary will tell you that the average cost of a kitchen is somewhere in the range of $70,000 -- an ensuite $30,000. That bottom line goes up when errors are made.
Installed that beautiful soaker tub but didn't anticipate that your joists would need bolstering? Or picked just the right cabinet colour only to have the painter talk you out of getting a sample board to preview and oh no! it's actually a blue-white?
Saving money by using a designer may seem counter-intuitive because you’re going to have to pay the additional designer’s fee, but the truth is that hiring a designer can help you avoid costly mistakes and increase the value of your home.
2. Interior Designers Keep Your Project Efficient
Understanding how to efficiently manage and schedule a construction project, even a small one, takes experience. To ensure a project stays on track, part of our process at Room Service Interiors is hosting a trade day at the job site.
Every trade we anticipate involving in a project will be able to inspect the job site, take photos, measurements and the detailed notes required to prepare an accurate quote. Because the contractors we ask to submit quotes are part of our A Team (qualified, reliable and insured), we know they're going to show up and provide you with their best work. Have you ever sat waiting for the repairman to show up, never mind a boatload of them… enough said!
3. Interior Designers Keep Your Timeline Intact
A home remodel or renovation can quickly stall out when you lack all the required information. Perhaps you weren't aware of the hidden structural elements and you need to go back to the drawing board on your floor plan. Or you sit waiting for various products to arrive on site because you thought "in-stock" meant available at your local warehouse, not Italy.
If you hire an interior designer to manage your project, you are paying them to orchestrate these elements so your projected timeline doesn't become a quickly dying relic.
4. Interior Designers Save You Money
Interior designers work hard to create and strengthen their relationships with reputable vendors (i.e. the companies we source furniture, accessories and materials from). They want to keep us happy so we can keep you happy.
A good supplier will warehouse products to make sure we receive them en masse when required and ensure any issues with a product are dealt with quickly and to satisfaction. Additionally, they typically offer us better pricing due to the scale of purchases - a discount that many designers will share with their clients and offsets the expense of design fees. That is a win-win in my books.
5. Interior Designers Solve Problems Creatively
Interior designers are trained to see and envision what clients often cannot. An experienced designer knows when something isn't right and has the advantage of scaled floor plans, wall elevations and 3D drawings in their arsenal. A professional will ensure adequate lighting, electrical outlets, and proper traffic flow are never an issue.
You can expect not only a functional space, but one where the design elements of furniture, fabric, finishes and fixtures all flow together seamlessly .
6. Interior Designers Style One-of-a-Kind Spaces
Your home should reflect your personal aesthetic. Let's face it, everyone is different. It's our job as designers to translate what we learn from our clients into a visual representation of them. We want your home to be beautiful, functional and unique to you.
One of the ways we can do that is through access to furniture, fabric, and materials that are trade-only and not available to everyone else. No designer often means no must-have sofa in that fabulous designer mohair. And if you have an awkward space, an interior designer can create custom-designed pieces to make sure everything fits perfectly.
7. Interior Designers Create Functional Spaces for Your Lifestyle
Have you ever lived in a "spec" home? You know - the ones that are pre-built with average Jane and Joe in mind? If you have, you can fully appreciate the longing for a space that makes your and your family's lives function like clockwork. Understanding your routines, your activities, hobbies and even how you REALLY love your coffee is what enables a professional interior designer to craft a home that functions beautifully.
It's not about plopping a bunch of boxes into your kitchen island because the plan says we have 9 feet. It's about the breakfast bar that actually fits 4 kids comfortably and the built-in cooktop that allows you to make an amazing meal all while still entertaining your guests.
The ways in which a properly designed space can make your life better are endless, and I promise well worth the design fees.
8. Interior Designers Let You Maintain a Normal Life During a Project
Beware -- if you're contemplating project managing your design/build yourself, you can fully expect to take some time off of work and extra-curriculars. Why spend time fretting about sourcing materials that complement each other, monitoring your trades, and managing installation schedules, when you could be spending time enjoying family and friends?
And while I love HGTV as much as the next gal, I blame them for the bevy of homeowners who are mislead into thinking a kitchen reno can happen in a week for $5,000.
9. Interior Designers Give You Unparalleled Peace of Mind from Start to Finish
Peace of mind is the ultimate benefit of hiring an interior designer. You know the old MasterCard ad about certain things being priceless - well this is one of them. It is well worth unloading the details of your project to someone who is trained in the intricacies of design. There is a reason we hire an accountant, lawyer, (insert profession here)...the knowledge required to ensure the desired result is tremendous.
Remember the soaker tub I mentioned? Did you know that improper construction or the hiring of an uninsured trade can result in your insurance claim being denied when said tub falls through the floor water and all?
While I agree that hiring an interior designer is a luxury not everyone can afford, the bigger question is, given the advantages - can you afford not to? I am grateful for the opportunity to help families craft beautiful, functional homes. If you have any questions about what an interior designer can do for you, I'd love to hear from you.
For more advice and inspiration, don't forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter!
Next week on the blog: The 7 Must Have Kitchen Built-ins That Will Save Your Sanity
Until next time!